President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has submitted today a draft bill "On public defender's office and defense lawyers' activity", President's aid on judicial system Andriy Portnov told a briefing, ForUm correspondent reports.

"The draft bill stipulates for equality of defense lawyers with other participants of a trial. Defense lawyers are given a right to inquire, get, withdraw things and documents, to question people on their consent," the official said.

The draft bill also provides for a free of charge state defense lawyer for those, suspected of a crime or in case of administrative detention and arrest, Portnov informed. According to the official, the given draft bill also provides for formation of independent public defender's offices at local and national levels.

In addition, Portnov informed that foreign defense lawyers would be allowed to practice in Ukraine.
According to the draft bill, defense lawyer will be equalized in rights with other participants of a legal process, and officials may be brought to administrative responsibility for refusal to assist defense lawyers.

Portnov pointed out that from January 1, 2013 every citizen will have a right to a free of charge state defense lawyer.

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